Us to Rs for Clarets
12th Febraury 2008
The Clarets travel to Loftus Road tonight for a clash against a resurgent QPR team and will be hoping for a much better display than the woeful performance against bottom club Colchester on Saturday.
The home form for the Clarets continues to disappoint especially against those clubs in the relegation zone. One of those clubs until recently were our opponents tonight and they caused a shock at Turf Moor by coming away with all three points in a recent match last December.
Although our home form could dictate whether we reach the play-offs this season or not, it`s our away form that continues to impress and the lads will be hoping for revenge tonight considering we have the second best away record this season and have beaten the likes of Watford, Charlton and Wolves on the road, not to mention load of midtable clubs.
Nevertheless we need to be careful after QPR have been transformed over recent months from a side looking certain to be relegated to one with now an outside chance of promotion.
The Rs are currently in 15th place on 39 points, five points behind the Clarets in 9th place and they will be on a high after their away win last Saturday against Southampton.
This needs to be contrasted against our current dip in form with an away defeat against West Brom and that poor draw at home against the Us in our last match.
Owen Coyle looks set to make some enforced changes to the team with the news that David Unsworth has been laid low with some sort of bug. Chris McCann also faces a late fitness test and remains doubtful. Mahon, Jones and Carlisle also remain sidelined with injuries although it looks like Clarke Carlisle may well make the friendly match away to Eircom side, Bohemians this Friday.
Coyle faces a difficult choice in attack too with Lafferty, Cole, Blake and Akinbiyi all in contention for two places. Lafferty looked out of his depth on the wing last Saturday and was lucky to be selected but is there really an opportunity to play him upfront at the moment? Cole was arguably Man of the Match against Colchester and it would be tough to drop him back to the bench. One option appears to be to select both Akinbiyi and Cole; both of them looked lively when this option was tried after Akinbiyi came on for Blake with 30 minutes of the Colchester match left to play. Robbie Blake, who had a lacklustre game last Saturday, may be the one finding himself dropped to the bench.
The line-up therefore could be as follows:
Jensen, Alexander, Caldwell, Varga, Harley, James O`Connor, Gudjonsson, Elliott, Lafferty, Cole, Akinbiyi
Subs: Kiraly, Jordan, Blake, Spicer, Randall
'We are one point off that coveted sixth spot at the moment and we are trying everything we can to get in there,
'I think teams are very wary that we have good players and we're playing well, and as much as we didn't hit the heights we've hit on Saturday (1-1 v Colchester), when I look back, I felt we did enough to win the game.
'But Saturday has gone now and we have the opportunity to go to QPR and get three more points.
'They have made wholesale changes and spent a lot of money, but it will still be 11 v 11 out on the pitch and we feel we can go there and win the game.
'We will be respectful, but if we perform to our standards we can win games and that's what we will look to do.
'We are not fearful of going anywhere and given the fact we are idle this weekend, it could be a very important three points.
QPR Team News:
Patrick Agyemang has recovered after suffering a dead leg on Saturday.
Defender Fitz Hall has torn his groin muscle and faces being sidelined for six weeks.
Damion Stewart and Akos Buzsaky could both start the match.
Player to watch: Patrick Agyemang
Patrick Agyemang looks to be the danger after having trouble failing to score since leaving Preston.
Burnley Team News:
Mahon, Carlisle, Jones and Unsworth are sidelined and McCann looks doubtful (see above)
Player to watch: Andrew Cole
Can Cole continue his impressive start despite the aging legs? Lets have a brace Andrew!
Last Time We Met
Just over a year ago now back in February 2007 we were in the middle of an awful 19 winless streak and suffered at the hands of QPR at Loftus Road losing 3-1 with our goal being put away by Chris McCann.
Kevin Friend-Leicestershire Tuesday nights referee is Kevin Friend from Leicestershire. So far this season he has refereed 27 games. He has booked 71 players and has shown 8 red cards. This is the 2nd time Kevin has refereed the Clarets this season after refereeing our 2-1 win over Watford in early December. He has refereed 11 other championship games this term including Charlton`s 2-0 win over PNE, WBA`s 3-3 draw with Cardiff and Colchester`s 3-2 win over WBA. Kevin became a Football League assistant referee in 2000 and a referee in 2003. He was an assistant referee at the LDV Vans Trophy area final between Bristol City and Cambridge United in 2003 and has also been involved in the divisional Play-Offs as an assistant referee. He has got good reviews so far this season and hopefully will perform well on Tuesday night. Preview provided by tomlaw
This has a draw written all over it and I`ll go with 2-2!
Next match not counting the Friendly against Bohemians this Friday will be away to Plymouth on Saturday 23rd February @ 3pm KO